Zack T. Wood
Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2003
Zack T. Wood’s grandfather passed on a love for horses and cattle that led Zack to make lasting impressions on the American Quarter Horse and the cutting horse industries.
Wood was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1926. His father was a successful banker and his grandfather was a farmer. Zack would go to his grandfather’s farm every summer and help him check cattle on horseback. Wood’s connection to livestock and agriculture eventually became the basis for his career with the National Cutting Horse Association.
After graduating from high school, Wood served in the Navy during World War II. He then attended Louisiana State University and received a bachelor’s degree in animal husbandry. He returned to his grandfather’s farm in the early ‘50s to help run the farm. Wood ran the farm until 1960, when excessive rain made him lose his cotton crop. He immediately went to work for the Arkansas extension service.
In 1955, Wood helped charter the Delta Cutting Horse Association, as a part of his interest in the growing sport of cutting. NCHA Executive Vice President J. D. Craft offered Wood a job as secretary/treasurer in 1961. Wood gladly accepted the position for $600 a month and moved his family to Fort Worth, Texas.
Eventually, Wood’s title changed to NCHA executive director, a position he held until his retirement in 1990. During this time, he also had great influence on AQHA. He served as a cutting adviser for the AJQHA and AQHA World Championship Shows until 1992. Wood was on the subcommittee that developed the World Show format and he served on the AQHA Show and Contest Committee from 1972 to 1992. Wood was appointed an AQHA Honorary Vice President in 1991. He also served on the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame Committee in 1975 and chaired the Hall of Fame selection committee in 1999 and 2000.
Wood was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2003, and died in 2010.